Going to the dentist and not hating it…

Like most Americans, I really dislike going to the dentist.  Growing up, when I went to the dentist, I always felt like I was getting scolded for not doing something right or enough.  Granted the dentist was probably right but… it’s just that he addressed problems that made me resent his advice rather than follow it.

Additionally… the ladies, who manned the front desk of my childhood dentist, were always super abrasive.  They more so resembled prison guards then someone who was there to be helpful and provide service.

You’d also inevitably have to wait an extra half an hour on top of your scheduled appointment time because they were never running on schedule

So… when I moved to DC, I hesitated getting back in the groove of getting my 6 month checkup.  Well, 4 years passed and I still hadn’t gone.  Lauren encouraged me to check out her dentist, Modern Dentistry in DC and had mentioned that she had really positive experiences.  So, I thought I’d give it a shot.

Well after two appointments, including yesterday’s filling, I have to say that I’m a total convert.  It is possible to have a positive experience going to the dentist.

Yesterday, at Modern Dentistry when I got the front desk for my at 8am appointment, they greeted me by name.  I was offered a bottle of water and I sat in the waiting room for 5 minutes.  I was quickly brought into the room.  I was out the door and with my filling done by 8:35am, which is probably the fastest filling I’ve ever had.  I felt like the NASCAR drivers who had stopped in the pit for a quick oil change and set of new tires.

You could really tell that the doctor and all of his staff really respected me and my time.  I left the office with a smile on my face, albeit a numb smile from the Novocaine.   I’ve already told a handful of folks about my experiences and probably made a few referrals.

So… what’s the moral of the story? Regardless of what business you’re in or whether you’re not in a business at all, customer service is important.  Caring is important.   Thinking about what you do and how it affects the happiness of your constituency is important.

I think this experience also underscores the importance of listening to your customers.  Lauren found out about Modern Dentistry originally from the online  service ZocDoc.  I’m sure if Modern Dentistry had a lot of negative reviews she would have never gone.  And… not only would they have missed out on her business, they would have missed out on mine too because she would have never made the referral to me.

Social media has amplified the voice of the consumer.  If you don’t do right by them… if you don’t leave them with a smile on their face, not only will they not come back but they’ll tell their friends and affect your ability to do business going forward.  Welcome to the new world order.

So… what kind of experiences have you had going to the dentist?  Good ones? What did they do?

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